"Stones in His Pockets" is hardly your everyday, run of the mill tale tale of haves and have nots. The basic plot: A big-time Hollywood production company descends upon a small Irish town to capture the magic of Ireland for their latest film. But, as in the movies, nothing is at it seems. The locals eagerly dream of stardom while earning 40 quid per day as the movie people grapple with less than idyllic circumstances in Ireland.
The tragedy and sad resignation at the center of this story are cloaked in wry, witty, observational Irish humor. Hollywood folks are the haves and the locals in a small village in County Kerry, Ireland, are the have nots in this engaging yarn about the all-consuming nature of the movie making business. All of the characters (from farmers and drunkards to a director and leading lady) are played by two actors.
The Lyric Stage Company could not have made better choices for their heart-warming current production. Though Daniel Berger-Jones could easily get by on his matinee idol looks alone, there's a depth and thoughtfulness to his work that imbues each of his characters with authentic human flaws. Even Caroline Giovanni, the A-list Hollywood actress in the film who he portrays without a single prop, feels vulnerable, feminine and real.
Though Berger-Jones morphs effortlessly from big-shot director to down on his luck townie, he is at his best as Charlie Conlon, the local guy with a script to sell. You can see the fear and desperate hope in his eyes as he takes his one shot at getting out.
Phil Tayler delivers an equally impressive turn in a multitude of roles that include Mickey Reardon, a bent-over relic with his own place in film history and Jake Quinn, a sad young man who already went for the American dream but came up short.
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With little more than physical gestures and verbal intonation, Tayler rapidly switches characters, genders and cultures with flawless, believable delivery.